The Different Motivational Theories

This model, namely expectancy theory, suggests that individuals, acting through self-interest, adopt courses of action perceived as maximizing the probability of desirable outcomes for themselves. This desire to maximize self-interest provides aspiring leaders with unique opportunities to assume leadership roles by simultaneously meeting both follower needs and organizational requirements. We intend to explicitly link expectancy theory and leadership concepts to demonstrate that leader interactions with followers permit the establishment of highly motivational working environments.

In so doing, individuals acquire the means to transcend their traditional roles of supervisor, manager, or follower, and realize their potentials as leaders. In order to remain competitive at home or within the global market, we must stop relegating in our minds the functions of leadership to the office of the president or CEO of the organization. Instead, we must come to view the leadership role as part of every employee’s job, at all levels of the organization. (Isaac, Zerbe & Pitt, 2001, p. 212)

Since its origins in the 1960s Equity Theory held forth the promise of helping to explain how employees respond to situations in which they perceive they are being rewarded more or less favorably in comparison to a referent doing similar work. Shortly after its inception, Weick (1966) deemed it to be one of the most useful existing organizational behavior theories. Subsequent reviews concluded that the empirical evidence supporting Equity Theory was generally strong, especially with regards to how workers respond to under-reward situations.

Equity Theory proposed that subjects respond to under-reward situations in various ways in an attempt to bring their equity ratio back into balance. For example, subjects may choose a behavioral response to help reduce their feelings of inequity. They may respond in such ways as reducing their inputs (i. e. , not put forth as much effort) or increasing their outcomes (i. e. , ask for a raise).

Subjects may instead use a cognitive response to reduce feelings of inequity such as selecting another person to use as their referent. Ultimately the subject may choose to exit the situation by deciding to transfer or quit the organization. Allen & White, 2002) Although previous Equity Theory research has concluded that under-rewarded subjects generally respond in a manner that is consistent with classic Equity Theory, it is not easy to predict which option they will select to bring their equity ratio into balance. This lack of specificity regarding what responses individuals experiencing inequity are likely to have is a serious shortcoming of the original Equity Theory.

As such, the original Equity Theory eventually fell out of favor due in part to this inability to predict exactly how individuals would respond to an under-reward situation (e. . , lower their inputs, attempt to raise their outcomes, cognitively justifying the situation, decide to leave the organization). This lack of predictive ability of Equity Theory makes it much less useful to practitioners such as managers and human resource professionals who would greatly benefit if they could accurately predict the reactions that their employees would have to different inequitable situations. Accordingly, research on the topic of Equity Theory moved off in another direction.

Inspired by legal research, the procedural justice stream of research began to focus more on the processes and procedures of how pay and recognition are determined, rather than the reactions that individuals have to them. Equity Theory research became less popular and eventually withered away. (Allen & White, 2002) While changing organizational culture is not an easy process, it can be accomplished by emphasizing a commitment to the individual employee. Despite the literature’s heavy emphasis on the private sector, many of the elements of Theory Z can be found in public organizations.

This article describes one city’s effort to change culture by emphasizing fair treatment of organizational members, employee involvement, two-way communication, employees’ personal development and recognition and camaraderie. During the past decade, organizations in the American society have faced great uncertainty. The challenge of meeting the increasing competition of the Japanese and Western Europeans in the international marketplace, massive reordering of corporations through leveraged acquisitions and consolidations, and rapidly changing technology have impacted organizational life in the private sector.

Public sector organizations have faced the effects of the new federalism, the Tax Reform Act of 1986, taxpayer revolts, and numerous other events and actions which have caused disruption. These demands on American organizations, especially those coming from foreign competition, have forced leaders to question their management abilities and their organizations’ commitment to excel. As part of this introspection, an examination of the underlying values, beliefs, and attitudes of organizations has been undertaken, especially in the popular, non-academic literature (Watson & Burkhalter, 1992)

Job Design for service employees has been categorized as a “production line” approach or an “empowerment” approach (Bowen & Lawler, 1992). The production line approach, as its name implies, is based on a Tayloristic view. It is based on four tenets — simple tasks, clear division of labor, substitution of equipment and systems for employees, and little decision-making discretion of employees. This design seeks to gain customer satisfaction through efficiency, consistency, and low costs.

It is imperative with the production line job design that IT is installed as a part of that design so as to facilitate matching it to the service encounters anticipated. The number and nature of the options from which the employee chooses should then be limited to matching the constraints on their decision-making authority. Any access to additional information would not only be of no use; it would actually deter efficiency. For example, if all hamburgers are prepared to the same degree of doneness, giving a customer encounter person the option of asking a customer how he/she would like the meat cooked would slow down the process.

In fast food, cash registers (which also communicate orders to the backroom) prompt order-takers through the decisions that are allowable. Thus, the more standardized the service the more easily circumscribed technologically it can be(5) because the reality of the encounter is simple and presumed to be more easily captured than encounters in which provided services are customized and the outcome of any one such encounter is variable. The more circumscribed technologically the service is, the more efficiently the service can be performed but the more dependent upon the circumscribing technology customer encounter service personnel become.

Mechling & Little, 2000, p. 65) The Two-factor Theory, or Motivation and Hygiene Theory, purports to differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of the job. The authors referred to the intrinsic factors as content or motivators, and they include: achievement, advancement, the work itself, responsibility, and recognition. The extrinsic factors were referred to as hygiene has and included: company policy and administration, technical supervision, working conditions, salary, and interpersonal supervision. (Maidani, 1991) the applicability of Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory of job Satisfaction among public and private sector employees.

The study, therefore was designed to investigate the job content (motivators or intrinsic) and job context (hygiene or extrinsic) factors contributing to job satisfaction among those employees. Furthermore, the study attempted to determine whether using this instrument would yield the same results as those of Herzberg et al. (1959) using the critical incidents techniques. Hypothesis 1 was supported. Significant differences were found due to the fact that the satisfied group values motivator significantly more than the dissatisfied group. A t-value of 1. 98 indicated that a significant difference existed between the two groups.

Hypothesis 2 was not supported. No significant differences were found between the satisfied and dissatisfied employees relating to value placed on hygiene factors. Hypothesis 3 was not supported as no significant differences were found between private and public sector employees on the value placed on motivator factors. (Maidani, 1991) The expectancy theory – formulated by Edward C Tolman in the 1930s – (whereby behavior rests on the instinctive tendency for individuals to balance the value of expected benefits against the expenditure of energy) falls into the same ‘stimulus-response’ approach to motivation.

It demonstrates that an individual’s strength of motivation can be affected by the expectations of outcomes from certain actions and further strengthened by the individuals preferred outcome, as demonstrated by Victor H. Vroom in the 1960s. Individuals are consciously self-interested in the outcomes of their actions. For example, a worker may put in extra time and effort to a project and expect to be paid more money. That is his desired reward and what he expects. If he does not receive, what he expects his motivational level will fall dramatically.

Elton Mayo, in the Hawthorne experiments concluded that individuals adjusted their motivational levels to fit in with the group. The individual values the approval and acceptance of others and will conform to the groups motivational standards in order to ‘fit in’. One important point about expectancy theory is that individual perceptions can be very different, and the motivation and behavior of individuals will vary considerably.

It pays, therefore, in external stimuli to bear in mind that: 1. he routes to desired outcomes for individuals and teams are clear; and 2. individuals perceive the rewards or punishments in different ways according to their own values. There is a great need to treat people as individuals but as the 50:50 rule also indicates, other motivational factors should always be set in the context of the individual’s managed environment. Leaders have a vital role to play in creating a motivational environment in which their team members can excel by in turn using the motivation within themselves.

To be able to do this, we as leaders need to begin by looking at ourselves and getting our contribution right before we can criticize others. (Thomas, 2004, p. 61) Process models are based on the important insight that responses to (persuasive) messages do not only take the form of controlled, capacity-intensive cognitive processes, or only the form of simple automatic processes involving little working memory. Message processing may be dominated by either form, or it may blend the two, depending on our ability and motivation to think about the substance of a message.

Affective processes appear to (a) influence levels of motivation and ability to process in a thoughtful manner, (b) guide the retrieval of information from memory, and (c) provide cues to simple responses (Babrow, 1993, p. 111) Dialectical perspectives on communication also embody multiple- process theory. Of course, dialectical analyses of one sort or another have been discussed for centuries (see Adler, 1952). As numerous dialectical thinkers have pointed out, however, several themes are consistent in these writings; these themes exemplify some of the most desirable potentialities of multiple- process theory.

The most elemental theme in dialectical thinking is that of opposition; “dialectic either begins or ends with some sort of intellectual conflict, or develops and resolves around such oppositions” ( Adler, 1952 , p. 350). Dialectical opposites are “mutually conditioning” (the occurrence, existence, or meaning of one pole is conditioned by its opposite) and at the same time “mutually excluding” . For instance, sound presupposes but also excludes silence, and so too for amity and enmity, motion and stillness. (Babrow, 1993, p. 15)

All of these theories thrive on the perception of the individual working to better themselves in some way. They differ in their methods, some look at how the individual will work for recognition, advancement, or just for encouragement. All of these methods are effective means of making individuals and groups work more efficiently. However, it is important to point out that each method does not work for the same situation. One must be able to differentiate between the theories in order to determine the best means.

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